Toastmaster bridging the gap

How Levels of Directness in Feedback Vary by Culture and Why That Matters

One of the trickiest communication challenges for global professionals is giving appropriate feedback across cultures. High versus low context messaging style and varying distribution of power and influence in a culture are among the determining factors for adjusting your feedback to different situations.

TCM founder Christian Höferle recently had the opportunity to share some insights around the topic of cross-cultural communication with the Toastmasters organization and their international magazine. An article in their July 2020 issue looks at the stumbling blocks we may encounter when giving and receiving evaluations, and how to bridge the cultural gap in those situations.

With clubs in 143 countries, Toastmasters regularly interact with members from other cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds in their clubs as well as in their places of employment. As a result, Toastmasters often give speech evaluations to members from other cultures who may have learned vastly different ways to deliver or interpret performance feedback.

Read the entire feature story, which also includes input by our esteemed colleagues, Kristen Hamling, David Livermore, and Pellegrino Riccardi.

Developing a foundational knowledge of cultural differences, and striving to suspend judgment as you encounter feedback styles that may be far more direct—or indirect—than you’re accustomed to, can make the difference between evaluations that are helpful or hurtful.

Access and explore the July 2020 issue of Toastmaster by clicking on the cover image below.

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